Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront has announced its newest development project – a commercial building named The Ridge, which will accommodate the Cape Town offices of professional services firm Deloitte.

Construction began early in 2019, while the overall completion date and the subsequent handover to Deloitte is scheduled for October 2020.

The site was previously a parking lot which serviced the renowned UCT Graduate School of Business Campus, the Breakwater Lodge building and other existing commercial buildings in the vicinity.

The Ridge offers a gross lettable area of over 8,500 m2 and will consist of four stories of office accommodation, and three basement levels for parking.

To facilitate and encourage staff movement, the building has an internal atrium that is conceptualised as a street, which runs through the centre of each floor.

The V&A Waterfront said that the Ridge will form the apex of a new Waterfront zone, dubbed the Portswood District, a green development forming a natural linkage to the Green Point fringe of the Atlantic Seaboard.

Existing developments include the Merchant House building and the Breakwater Lodge and campus to the east.

The developed site will form the main connection between Dock Road, on the main route to the original parts of the Waterfront, and Portswood Road, which runs just outside the north-western boundary of the property.

Green office

The Ridge claims to feature a number of ‘firsts’ for the green building/sustainability industry in South Africa.

These include energy-efficient and passive climate control measures, the use of renewables, sustainable water handling and usage, the lowering of the carbon footprint of the building and a focus on the use of natural lighting.

“Energy performance is fully integrated into its design, which maximises natural light, ventilation and manages water and waste resources efficiently.

“These sustainability measures could result in savings on utility bills of between R12–R18/m2 GLA per month (2019 value), equating to an equivalent value of between 5-10% of the rental,” the V&A Waterfront said.

Other notable features include:

  • Small pause areas have also been included in the working zones to give staff the freedom to work from where it is most suitable;
  • The building will use an estimated 12,000 ‘eco-bricks’ – effectively plastic waste-filled PET bottles, specifically the 2 litre ‘Coke’ type bottle as void forming materials for non-load bearing concrete elements;
  • Anyone wishing to cycle to work or to use the V&A Waterfront running trail during the day will have access to showers. There will also be secure lock-up facilities for bicycles;
  • The Ridge includes rainwater harvesting and greywater treatment facilities, that are colocated in the basement. The harvested water is treated to near potable standards, to be used for irrigation and flushing;
  • The roof will harvest solar photovoltaic power via the placement of PV panels on the roof facing the optimum direction. The overall building plans are for a 750 kVA power requirement and the PV power will be grid-tied, but not expected to feedback into the grid. The building is expected to generate around 25% of its own energy requirements;
  • Recycling stations will be distributed throughout the building.

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